February 5, 2021
King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia
Royal Greens Golf and Country Club
IAN POULTER: Obviously they have got the best of the weather, so hopefully they don't go too far forward and if so then I'll have an opportunity if I make some putts. I'm playing well. Just not converting the putts I need to.
Q. You played with Viktor Hovland, it was really great to see you together on the course. Do you think you and him could be a good Ryder Cup Team?
IAN POULTER: He, 100 per cent, will be on the team and I need to make sure I'm in the team. So he will be -- more to the point, he will be a great addition. He's a world class golfer. He's young. He's strong. He's going to be the backbone of the European Team for many years.
Q. A lot of people are saying they are not holding putts. Is it the conditions?
IAN POULTER: It's the type of grass. Paspalum, that's a very -- so the grass goes all over the place. It's a strong grass.
Q. Different pace?
IAN POULTER: It's not really pace. You've got a straight putt, a dead straight putt, and sometimes it just moves off-line and it won't move back. They are immaculate compared to last week.
Q. Everyone is saying this is the best-conditioned course of the three.
IAN POULTER: I mean, yeah, I didn't think the greens were great at HSBC. I thought they were a bit soft, spongy. They are probably the best-looking surface of the three.
The course is great. The course has matured. It's just frustrating when you miss putts. Everyone is missing a few putts; David Horsey didn't yesterday.
Q. Describe the conditions today.
IAN POULTER: It was less windy than yesterday but we had some kind of on and off rain all day. It was a little breezy at times. It's been a challenge, really, to be honest. Yesterday I think in the afternoon, the low round was 3-under, which was surprising. But this morning, I still felt it was pretty gettable. The forecast, stop doing that this afternoon and they might have the better side right now.
But it's playable. It's a golf course there. Will be plenty of opportunities. There are two par 5s but there are some good par 4s which you should be able to hit wedges in pretty close.
Q. You were third in strokes gained for your approach play yesterday. Hitting a lot of greens, a lot of chances. How did that compare to today's round?
IAN POULTER: It was a bit different. I didn't hit it quite as well today. You know, yeah, yesterday was annoying to walk off 3-under par hitting it as good as I did.
Today when I needed to scramble, I did that pretty well. I made a good 4 on 9 out of that front bunker. I holed I think one significant putt I think in two days. That was a 25-, 30-foot putt, but the rest have been all under five feet really.
Q. The commentators are getting very excite about your bunker play, great one on 13 yesterday and you mentioned the up-and-down on 9. Where did you get the confidence in the sand?
IAN POULTER: I always like playing bunker shots. Short game has been, for me, has been an area where I haven't need to work overly hard. I like the challenge of it to be honest. I'd rather not be in there but when I am, I don't mind it.
And holing bunker shots like yesterday, not often do commentators -- it's normally a commentator's curse but he called it well yesterday. Bang on point. I feel confidential around greens. Bunker play has always been pretty good and I'm continuing that form.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports